PODCAST: 5 Student EV Teams Leading the Charge

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At Electric Auto Shop Podcast, we talk a lot about students building alternative fuel vehicles, so when it came time to plan our next episode, we decided to profile 5 of the newest and/or most famous student EV teams out there:  PODCAST LISTEN HERE

  1. Minddrive uses “the real-world issues of our times to teach urban students critical thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship and how to improve their future by expanding their vision for themselves.”  They built an electric Karmen Ghia in 2013 that was powered by social media.
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WATCH: California Challenge Races on $1 of Fuel

Tustin High school's racer8 at the California Challenge

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UC Irvine hosted a clean energy exposition alongside the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 at the Orange County Great Park, with the Henry Samueli School of Engineering staging the first-ever California Challenge.  Watch a public television news piece produced by PBS Socal’s Real Orange. Read more of this post

PODCAST: Electric Submarines and Crowdsource EV Projects with Michael Mack

lotus-esprit-submarine-electric

Everyone has their dream car, so it was amusing to read this past week about Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk acquiring a famous car from the James Bond movie ‘The Spy Who Loved Me.’ In the film, the car in question, a Lotus Esprit, is being chased by the bad guys when 007 drives it off a pier, crashing into the water and pushing a button that transforms the car into a submarine. Reportedly, Musk found that the film used special effects and the car doesn’t actually transform, but he wants to make the car electric and able to go underwater anyway. Read more of this post

Podcast: Ecotality’s Totality and Hanging Out with La Mirada High

la-mirada-high-ev-program

In our climb to raise the stakes in electric vehicles it seems like you take two steps forward only to slip one step back.  Such is the gloomy state of the industry early this week, case-in-point the recent filing of Bankruptcy by Ecotality, with its supposedly game-changing charging technology.  Ecotality reportedly received $100 million in subsidies, so it’s amazing to read that CarCharging Group recently acquired assets for $3.4 million at auction.  Also, electric car rentals seem to have taken a flop, due to the range anxiety of customers returning their EVs the same day and asking for a gas version, all for fear of not being able to make it to a charging station. In the midst of this seeming chaos, many are questioning the relevance of EV subsidies–even as others predict rosy futures for electric cars.

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Ecotality selling assets for $4.3 million

Ecotality, the bankrupt electric car-charging company, has said it will sell its assets to a trio of buyers for $4.3 million.

AZCentral reports the company, which received more than $100 million in federal stimulus funds to install electric-car charging stations in a number of states, drew three bids in an auction for its assets such as the network of those charging stations. Ecotality started in Phoenix before it moved its headquarters to San Francisco in 2010.  (Phoenix Business Journal)

Electric Cars Can Now Travel From Montreal To Detroit Via Sun Country Charging Stations

Sun Country Charging Network between Montreal and Detroit

Electric-car owners may want to consider a road trip to Canada.

Sun Country Highway (SCH) has just opened an extension of its network of charging stations to cover the length of Highway 401 between Detroit and Montréal.

The new stations join the company’s existing corridor of free Level 2 charging stations lining the Trans-Canada highway.

Electric-car drivers will have 17 stations to get them between Montréal the capital of Québec and the Motor City.The stations are spaced 31 to 60 miles apart, the Globe and Mail reports.

The 401 corridor will benefit electric-car drivers in both Ontario and Quebec who were previously “city-locked” by a limited, urban-centric charging infrastructure. Read More

Electric Car Rentals Stalled in U.S. by Range Anxiety

Bloomberg - Electric Car Rentals Stalled in U.S. by Range Anxiety

Rental car drivers just aren’t plugging into electric vehicles, largely because of fears the batteries will die.

In fact, people who drive off in electric vehicles from Enterprise Holdings Inc., the biggest U.S. auto renter, often bring them back to trade for a car that runs on gasoline.

“People are very keen to try it, but they will switch out of the contract part way through,” Lee Broughton, head of sustainability at Enterprise, said in an interview. “Range anxiety makes them think they can’t get to a charging station.” Read More